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Emily Wessel

Hello - I'm from Vancouver Island, Canada, but I live and work in Edinburgh, Scotland. I am co-founder and designer at Tin Can Knits - www.tincanknits.com

46 Comments

  1. Jane Brautigam
    September 19, 2021 @ 8:48 pm

    Hi! I.m trying the Banff Mitts as my first stranded yarn pattern. Since there are only a small number of stitches, I am using DPNs and notice that the stranded yarn has to stretch
    between needles. It is harder to know if I am making the leap too tight. Do you have tips for using DPNs in this situation? Jane

  2. Sharon Kairuz
    July 22, 2021 @ 12:04 am

    I’m new to colour work and have found your tutorials a wonderful source of help. Thank you for the time and effort you put into making them so user friendly.

    The one area I’m struggling and have tried numerous different ways-is joining in a new colour at the BOR -my ‘join area’ always seems unsightly and untidy especially if I’m changing colours every round and even after blocking there is a slight improvement but one can see that the yarn is not seamlessly joined. Please could you advise me on the best method to join a new colour. Thanks so much
    Sharon

    • Alexa Ludeman
      July 27, 2021 @ 9:24 am

      Hi Sharon – It is particularly difficult to hide that join when you change colours more frequently. I recommend making sure you are weaving your ends in the opposite direction that they are knit in (it will be one way when you start with a colour and the opposite when you finish with a colour)

  3. Marianne
    May 12, 2020 @ 3:01 am

    Hi I just bought the Dog Star pattern, knitting size 4-6 years. For increase round pg 2..k1 m1 knit to 1 stitch from end m1. Knit 5 rounds, not sure when to increase, is it every row on those 5 rounds? Thank you

    • alexaludeman
      May 12, 2020 @ 2:52 pm

      Hi Marianne – No, you are just knitting 5 rounds, the next instruction tells you how many times to repeat the increase round followed by 5 knit rounds.

  4. desiraeluz
    September 17, 2019 @ 8:25 am

    any tips for yarn tangling while knitting fair isle? i feel as if i spend more time untangling my skeins than i do actually knitting.

    • alexaludeman
      September 18, 2019 @ 11:06 am

      Hi – I use 1 hand for each colour so they never tangle, I recommend giving it a try. Holding yarn in the opposite hand feels awkward at first but you get used to it, promise!

  5. Sharon Stilwell
    August 13, 2019 @ 12:01 pm

    Would you share tips for avoiding the jog in fair isle when knitting in the round? I think it would be very helpful.

    • Emily Wessel
      August 15, 2019 @ 9:48 am

      Hi Sharon – to be honest, I don’t know of any great ways to avoid the jog. If you’re working a pattern that has ‘whitespace’ (ie non-patterned sections between motifs), you can place the BOR at that part of the pattern. But many patterns you simply have to accept the jog.

  6. Sylvia Larson
    August 3, 2019 @ 10:34 am

    This tutorial was very helpful…thank you. I love how all your stitches look so even. I’m knitting my first fair isle pattern…a Christmas stocking for my daughter. Do you pick up new color under or over the previous color? I knit only English style so I won’t be using the two hand method.

    • Emily Wessel
      August 8, 2019 @ 4:23 am

      We pick up the contrast colour (the one we want to be ‘dominant’) from underneath the other colour.

  7. Sandy
    May 14, 2019 @ 11:54 pm

    I’m knitting the North Shore sweater. I just finished the wave pattern and the jog at the end of the round is really unsightly! I also realize that the trees at the junction will be uneven. What can I do?

    • alexaludeman
      May 15, 2019 @ 9:26 am

      Hi Sandy – knitting in the round will always produce a jog. I find that it looks quite a bit better once I weave in my ends (weave them in the opposite direction from where they are first/last used), and when I block it I squeeze that part into the best shape possible. The jog will be at the back shoulder so it’s not in a very conspicuous place. Our sweater has a jog too, it’s inevitable

    • June Donenfeld
      June 22, 2019 @ 11:05 pm

      Hi Sandy–Perhaps you might find a solution here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=Eo7NOQ6PpsY

  8. Brittany
    January 23, 2019 @ 9:54 pm

    The link to the Color dominance explanation is 404. The new link is here: https://ysolda.com/blogs/journal/colour-dominance

    • alexaludeman
      January 25, 2019 @ 11:25 am

      Thanks! Just updated the link.

  9. Pam Owen
    September 22, 2018 @ 11:20 am

    What a awesome first time fair isle pattern and it’s all because of how well the pattern is written. I’ve been knitting for about 6 months and I completed a small adult hat with just a few mistakes, and that says a lot. I’m starting a baby toque next. Thank you so much!

  10. Peg levy
    September 13, 2018 @ 5:56 am

    I knitted a stranded scarf in the round. I’m not adding fringe. Do I use the Kitchener stitch before or after I block the scarf? It’s wool.

    • alexaludeman
      September 13, 2018 @ 10:04 am

      Hi Peg – this is a bit of a controversial answer (I think some knitters would do it the other way), but I would kitchener first and block second.

  11. Robin
    November 20, 2017 @ 5:20 pm

    I found the tips here to be really helpful, especially the one where you knit with the work inside out. My floats are much looser than before. Thanks for the tutorial.

  12. Prescille Brown
    August 22, 2017 @ 10:34 am

    I am knitting fun fair isle jacket size 8
    It was really easy until I got to the left front – shape neck.
    I’m not understanding pattern as it works with 17 sts and I have 20 sts. What do I do.with the extra 3 sts?
    Can someone help me?

  13. Nia Lorre
    June 15, 2017 @ 10:39 am

    Just a little FYI: your example is stranded color work, but not technically fair isle. Fair isle only uses two colors per row.

    • Laurie S
      September 23, 2017 @ 1:50 pm

      I don’t see any row where she has more than two colors….

      • Karin E.
        October 30, 2017 @ 8:16 am

        I agree with Nia. This confusion in terms is somewhat annoying, as there are lots of stranded colourwork variations; not all are (Scottish) Fair Isle. Have a look at: Norwegian, Latvian, (Danish) Faroe Islands, and (Canadian) Cowichan.

        In the designer’s instructions above, she indicates in Round 2 of Chart A “you will be working with 3 colours, not just 2.” This is the round with the dark grey ‘bat wings’ & aqua ‘eyes’. See the chart and photo above. It’s lovely stranded colourwork, but not technically Fair Isle.

  14. Julie-Anne
    June 10, 2017 @ 9:06 pm

    I just finished knitting a hat for toddler and it turned out beautifully and the instructions were simple and easy to read – thank you great pattern for beginners and a nice project for a baby girl

  15. Assumpta
    April 23, 2017 @ 10:09 am

    For a first time project I think three colours in the same pattern is challenging. Sticking to two colours allows the knitter have one colour on each hand. I like the patterns.

  16. Debbie Boone
    December 14, 2016 @ 9:33 pm

    Your work is beautiful and I appreciate your advise. How many colors can you carry at a time? I’m working on a hat in the round and will have 4 colors (cars and trucks for a boy) on most rounds. Thank you. Debbie

    • alexaludeman
      December 15, 2016 @ 11:18 am

      Hi Debbie – I suppose the possibilities are endless. Usually fair isle patterns have only 2 at a time, I have occasionally used 3, but I can see how you would need so many colours for cars.

  17. Victoria
    November 27, 2016 @ 6:24 pm

    Help! I can’t find 22 stitches x 28 rows gauge yarn! What do I do?

    • alexaludeman
      November 28, 2016 @ 1:50 pm

      Well, the gauge on the ball band isn’t necessarily the gauge YOU will get. When in doubt the stitch gauge is usually more important than the row gauge

  18. Mars
    August 9, 2016 @ 2:34 am

    How do you combat the fact that the start of the round is a row below the end of the round? The common technique of picking up the stitch below doesn’t necessarily work with all fair isle patterns

    • alexaludeman
      August 9, 2016 @ 4:21 pm

      Hi – I don’t really combat it, there is usually a jog. I try to keep the beginning of round in the least conspicuous spot and with a block it usually ‘lines’ up a bit better.

    • Veronika
      February 19, 2017 @ 1:50 am

      Would a slip stitch work? Just read that in a book and it looked nicer to me as the pick up below version.

    • Sharon
      November 11, 2017 @ 7:52 am

      Google instructions for “joggless knitting”. These jogs appear when knitting in the round. There are lots of videos to help.

  19. Marianne
    January 27, 2016 @ 7:16 am

    Nice blog post. I’ve never tried knitting with the wrong side out—but I’ll try that. Thanks for all the tips. :)

  20. Paulette Arnst
    May 29, 2015 @ 5:42 am

    Also, tried to print the pattern “Harvest”. Just get first page or two. Seems that the patterns I paid for print, but the free ones don’t.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  21. Paulette Arnst
    May 28, 2015 @ 4:54 pm

    I have just purchased the ebook. Found patterns on Ravelry, downloaded and printed them. Tried to print pattern for the toque yesterday and today, but it only prints part of the first page and nothing else. Is there a problem? Paulette Arnst

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • alexaludeman
      May 29, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

      Hi Paula – I just downloaded and printed the Clayoquot Toque and it worked for me…

  22. Shay_pay
    May 27, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I did just that when I blocked my last hat as per advice from Alexa, and they didn’t grow 3 sizes! You ladies are awesome!!😀

  23. knittedblissjc
    May 27, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

    I love that idea in particular about working stranded knitting inside out if you’re having trouble keeping the floats loose- great tip!

  24. Sonja Kuvik Loyd (@sonjalv)
    May 27, 2015 @ 5:11 am

    What a wonderful tip,I started knitting in October of last year,I haven’t put my needles down only to work, eat and sleep.I am getting pretty good,lots of trial and error,but Its okay.I really would love to get something started in fair isle .Thank you for the help.

  25. hookednewknitter
    May 26, 2015 @ 10:06 pm

    Thanks for all the tips. I’m really enjoying fairisle knitting – you are right about practising with tension!

  26. miss agnes
    May 26, 2015 @ 7:15 pm

    Seeing your color choice made me think of some yarn leftover from a project with three colours, I might have enough to try this hat. Thanks for the pattern, I have never done Fair Isle before and a hat is really a perfect project to try it.

  27. Diana
    May 26, 2015 @ 3:32 pm

    I’m getting braver….just a little tiny bit….and these patterns are so beautiful, I’m going to give it a try…

  28. H's Handcrafts
    May 26, 2015 @ 11:06 am

    Wow thanks for the tips…I’ve only tried fairisle once and found my stitches got really uneven. Maybe I’ll try again over winter
    H.